Generators are built to supply the load of consumers. However, for generators to come to the electricity grid there are high costs to build them. When they are finally built, which may take years, the amount of energy they provide can be paid for at the price of energy in the market. And, every year the load growth of areas continue to increase, and at one point more generation must come to the grid.
In Texas, the structure to pay is based on a wholesale deregulated market. When there is an abundance of energy the price of electricity is relatively affordable. From the years of 2008 to 2011 the average price was $51 per MW per the State of the Market Report for ERCOT done by Potomac Economics.  In times where there is scarcity, as in not enough generators to supply the demand, the price may or may not have been high to indicate there were impending problems in the grid. One of the current projects before the PUCT is called the Ensure Resource Adequacy in Texas.  And in one of the documents filed before the PUCT there is a discussion on pricing scarcity more clearly during real-time. 
The proposal discusses a curve to price reserves in scarcity situations that may or may not help better signal to the ERCOT market that new generation needs to be built. The curve at the highest point is set at what is called the value of lost load, also known as VOLL. Steven Stoft states this is “The value of another megawatt of power equals the cost imposed by involuntary load curtailment.”  The VOLL value has not been defined, but a referenced value by some is $10,000 per MW, much more than the average real-time price mentioned earlier.
The key issue I would like to explore is, as a customer of energy, what are we absolutely willing to pay before we would not want to pay any more for electricity? As in, the value of lost load for each person or even business that is willing to pay could be at a wide range of values. With this information the market could better decide that in a scarcity situation, what certain customers would like to be “curtailed” before others. In other words, lets say in a rolling blackout, the people that were cut off from electricity was not based on region, but the people willing to not pay more for a certain price of electricity. This adds a lot more flexibility in the level of generation and demand that may be required for the year, and not a fixed target for generation.
So, what is the value of lost load to you? When do you think you’d like to stop paying for energy? When is it too high?
 Stoft, Steven. “Power System Economics.” Piscataway: IEEE Press, 2002. Print.